Bin Laden Death Story a Lie: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011. (Getty)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour “Sy” Hersh claims Osama bin Laden didn’t die the way the United States said he did. In fact he said the entire story of how we killed the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks is a lie as tall as the Tora Bora mountains.

Hersh’s 10,000-word story in the London Review of Books begins:

It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.

And now the blogosphere is going nuts, not quite sure what to believe. Is the story President Obama told true? Is Hersh full of shit?

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Matt Ward (Facebook)

Hersh goes on to say …

* bin Laden was a prisoner of Pakistan’s at the Abbottabad compound since 2006 (revealed previously in “Osama bin Laden ‘protected by Pakistan in return for Saudi cash”)

* two most senior Pakistani military leaders knew of the raid and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms;

* the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US,

* that while Obama ordered the raid and Navy Seals carried it out, many aspects of the American account were false.

osama, obama, seymour hersh

Local residents watch ongoing demolition of the compound where Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was slain. (Getty)

The White House called Hersh’s report a crock.

Here are 5 things you need to know about Seymour Hersh and the death of Osama bin Laden:

1. Sy Hersh Is a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter

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Sy Hersh (Getty)

Myron Seymour “Sy” Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his series on the “My Lai Massacres” in Vietnam. (Read all of the dispatches here)

Based in Washington, D.C., he’s also written several books and often contributes to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters. The thrust of his newest story is that Pakistan had bin Laden in its mitts since 2006.

‘When your version comes out – if you do it – people in Pakistan will be tremendously grateful,’ Durrani told me. ‘For a long time people have stopped trusting what comes out about bin Laden from the official mouths. There will be some negative political comment and some anger, but people like to be told the truth, and what you’ve told me is essentially what I have heard from former colleagues who have been on a fact-finding mission since this episode.’ As a former ISI head, he said, he had been told shortly after the raid by ‘people in the “strategic community” who would know’ that there had been an informant who had alerted the US to bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, and that after his killing the US’s betrayed promises left Kayani and Pasha exposed.

Listen to Hersh talk to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones about the bin Laden killing:

(Buy Seymour Hersh’s books here)

2. Osama bin Laden Was Killed on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan

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(New York Daily News, New York Post)

From Hersh’s story:

‘Of course the guys knew the target was bin Laden and he was there under Pakistani control,’ the retired official said. ‘Otherwise, they would not have done the mission without air cover. It was clearly and absolutely a premeditated murder.’ A former Seal commander, who has led and participated in dozens of similar missions over the past decade, assured me that ‘we were not going to keep bin Laden alive – to allow the terrorist to live. By law, we know what we’re doing inside Pakistan is a homicide. We’ve come to grips with that. Each one of us, when we do these missions, say to ourselves, “Let’s face it. We’re going to commit a murder.”’ The White House’s initial account claimed that bin Laden had been brandishing a weapon; the story was aimed at deflecting those who questioned the legality of the US administration’s targeted assassination programme. The US has consistently maintained, despite widely reported remarks by people involved with the mission, that bin Laden would have been taken alive if he had immediately surrendered.

Whatever the story, Americans drank the Kool-Aid.

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A street vendor celebrated Osama’s death in Bennington, Vermont. (Joey Kulkin)

3. Robert O’Neill of Navy SEALS Team Six Killed Osama

But is the whole SEALS story a ruse?

Obama also praised ‘a small team of Americans’ for their care in avoiding civilian deaths and said: ‘After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.’ Two more details now had to be supplied for the cover story: a description of the firefight that never happened, and a story about what happened to the corpse. Obama went on to praise the Pakistanis: ‘It’s important to note that our counterterrorism co-operation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.’ That statement risked exposing Kayani and Pasha. The White House’s solution was to ignore what Obama had said and order anyone talking to the press to insist that the Pakistanis had played no role in killing bin Laden. Obama left the clear impression that he and his advisers hadn’t known for sure that bin Laden was in Abbottabad, but only had information ‘about the possibility’. This led first to the story that the Seals had determined they’d killed the right man by having a six-foot-tall Seal lie next to the corpse for comparison (bin Laden was known to be six foot four); and then to the claim that a DNA test had been performed on the corpse and demonstrated conclusively that the Seals had killed bin Laden. But, according to the retired official, it wasn’t clear from the Seals’ early reports whether all of bin Laden’s body, or any of it, made it back to Afghanistan.


4. “Zero Dark Thirty” Was About Bin Laden’s Death

The 2012 movie won several awards, including Jessica Chastain’s Golden Globe for Best Actress.

5. Osama’s Death Was President Obama’s Signature Moment

If what Hersh wrote is true, what are we to believe of the porn on bin Laden’s computer?

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In case you missed the link above, read Hersh’s full report HERE.

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